Int'l meet of sexual, reproductive health rights held in Nepal
Published: Apr 10, 2009 10:13 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:44 PM

An international conference, "Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: Meeting Challenges in the Developing World", opened in the Nepali capital Kathmandu on Thursday.

The meeting, the ninth international conference held by the Nepal Society for Obstetricians and Gynecologists (NESOG), is to last from Thursday to Saturday.

The conference aims both to raise awareness about women's sexual and reproductive rights and to motivate health professionals to serve as advocates for all women's rights to sexual and reproductive health, according to the press release from the organizer.

Women face numerous risks and challenges to their sexual and reproductive health. It is estimated that 1,600 women die every day from complications caused by pregnancy and childbirth, and 99percent of these deaths occur in developing countries, the organizer acknowledged.

In addition, approximately 70,000 women die annually from unsafe abortions, while countless others suffer from infections caused by the procedure. Moreover, about 42 percent of all people infected with HIV are women as they are more likely than men to contract HIV through sexual encounters. Domestic violence, rape, and sexual abuse also pose a significant threat to women's health and well-being throughout the world, according to the press release.

Health professionals, particularly obstetricians and gynecologists, have the medical expertise, credibility and commitment to bring about healthy change in the reproductive lives of Nepali women.

The conference called on the professionals to share their experiences, learn new technical and management approaches, and influence key policy-makers so that women's reproductive rights are consistently recognized.

The NESOG, established in 1989, is a non-profit professional group with approximately 235 registered members in Nepal. It is the only organization of obstetricians and gynecologists in Nepal.

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